It’s been a minute.
You know what’s difficult? Falling back into a routine. Getting back to grind of yore. The old yore grind, as they say. (They don’t say that.)
Going into 2016, I had been feeling a little frustrated with my fitness, the way my clothes fit, the lingering bark of a foot that is still ambiguously 4% weird, the fact that it was cold and dark and that getting to my gym isn’t as simple as I’d like it to be during a time when the slightest hiccup derails any semblance of workout motivation. Life stress (normally alleviated by exercise) was made worse with a lack of physical activity or sunlight (ugh, Chicago winters), and I was sleeping a lot and eating poorly because of that (which only compounded the issue and created an ugly cycle of rinse, repeat, regret). I was a bit of a walking Zoloft commercial, and I could feel it starting to dampen my spirits in a way I wasn’t comfortable with (despite the situational stress, my life was pretty good, dammit!). I felt like frozen dog poop, left abandoned and hidden under a blanket of snow. I didn’t want the Spring thaw to leave me exposed on the sidewalk like some kind of urban, low tide flotsam.
I process things better when I’ve got a sweaty outlet, and it tends to help lessen the impact or duration of seasonal or situational funks. I also tend tend to stick with things when I remove as many day-to-day decision-making requirements as possible. I like lists and schedules and people telling me what to do. Taking all of that into consideration, I started toying around with the idea of a Spring half marathon. I focused on a few that I felt would give me enough time to train and ease into the mileage, narrowed it down based on conflicts, and settled on the Chi Town Half Marathon on April 9th.
Since committing to be part of the solution (and hanging up my mopey pants), I’ve eased back into a running routine. I modified Higdon’s Intermediate Half Marathon plan to incorporate some tried and true workouts/favorites (hello, race pace workouts and track Tuesdays), and uploaded it to my Google calendar. (Plugging it into an Excel .csv file that I could import into Google calendar was a game changer for avoiding the carpal tunnel that results from creating a billion “new events.”)
It’s been challenging trying to get back into a routine – remembering to look at my week and plan accordingly to minimize training conflicts, remembering how to log into Daily Mile or Garmin Connect, remembering how the hell I logged my training in the past. Yesterday, I got irrationally frustrated when I realized that I had accidentally deleted all of my 2013 race results data from my Growth Chart, and completely forgot which site I had used to populate things easily (confused the user-friendly Athlinks.com with the atrocious and useless Active.com).
I’m a few weeks into the training plan, and feeling good about where things stand. The final piece of the training puzzle is recommitting to training recaps (if only for my own sanity and organization, because sometimes those things get boring and navel-gazey). I’ve got a few shorter races on my radar, and am looking forward to getting reacquainted with the familiar feeling of Type-B fun (the kind of fun that masquerades as “almost puke.”)
I’m lucky to have a great, supportive partner who loves to see me shine, and whose encouragement and gentle nudging has led me to be more proactive in my own health and success. I’m grateful to have him as both a training partner and cheerleader, and I’m excited to reconnect with running, racing, and writing in 2016!
What are you working towards this year?